My daughter’s school celebrated Earth Day on Friday. It has become an annual event in which I bring my chickens. The kids love seeing our unusual chickens. Many have never seen a live chicken before, so it’s fun to hear their reactions. I bring a big tub of spinach for the kids to feed the chickens.
We had the worm compost table next to the chickens, so the kids had a blast picking out worms and bringing them over to feed the chickens. The chickens ate like queens!
This little guy was smitten with the chickens. Whenever his mother lost him in the crowd, she just came back to me and there he was. She finally gave up and just hung out with us.
A friend brought her beekeeping equipment and lots of photos to show the kids about bees. She had popsicle sticks to dip into the honey for tasting. The smart kids used the sticks to dig for worms and then feed them to the chickens.
Here’s some information on using coffee grounds in your compost from Starbucks. Besides getting spent grounds from Starbucks, I’m sure any of your local coffee shops would be happy to hand some over. You can divert great organic matter from going to a landfill and improve your garden at the same time.
Coffee grounds can provide a valuable source of nutrition for your garden. The proper amount to be used depends on the condition of your soil and what you are growing. Check with a local gardening expert or your local parks to see what is best for your garden. Here are a few general tips:Applying coffee grinds directly to your garden:
Coffee grounds can be applied directly as a top dressing to acid loving plants like blueberries, hydrangeas, and azaleas (acid loving plants thrive in areas where rainfall is common in the warm season). Adding brown material such as leaves and dried grass to the mulch will help keep a balanced soil pH.
Mixing coffee grounds in your compost:
Coffee grounds act as a green material with a carbon-nitrogen (C-N) ratio of 20-1. Combined with browns such as leaves and straw, coffee grounds generate heat and will speed up the compost process. Don’t make your coffee grounds more than 25% of any one pile’s content. To counter the acidity of the coffee grounds, consider adding 1 teaspoon of lime or wood ash for every 5 pounds of coffee grounds in your pile.
Using coffee grounds in your worm bin:
Worms fed with coffee grounds and other vegetarian materials will flourish.
What’s in Coffee Grounds?
Starbucks commissioned a study in 1995 to better understand the make up of the organic matter we call coffee grounds. The following is the result of the analysis performed by the University of Washington, College of Forest Resources:
I just found out about a site called vermicomposters.com that is a kind of social networking site for people who have worm composters. There’s a Google map of the members and there are lots of photos of people holding their pet worms. If all this doesn’t get you to click on the site, there’s also a forum and a links section that gives a newbie vermicomposter all the information they need to get started.
Here’s a short segment from Good Morning America that shows one person’s attempt to cut down on his waste. He kept a year’s worth of waste in his basement, and it’s really surprising how little he ended up with. He also uses a worm composter called a Worm Factory.